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My understanding of the best way to handle this, is to add your userid to the 'dialout' group. The dialout group allows access to the serial ports.

You can do this with the following command. ${USER} will be interpreted as your current user name, but you could manually type in the username instead.

sudo gpasswd --add ${USER} dialout

You will have to logout and then log back in before the group change is recognized.

(I'm using rplidar with ubuntu 12.04 and ros hydro.)